Anderson PL, Kiser JJ, Gardner EM, Rower JE, Meditz A, Grant RM. Pharmacological considerations for tenofovir and emtricitabine to prevent HIV infection

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO, USA.
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (Impact Factor: 5.31). 11/2010; 66(2):240-50. DOI: 10.1093/jac/dkq447
Source: PubMed


The use of antiretroviral medications in HIV-negative individuals as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a promising approach to prevent HIV infection. Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and emtricitabine exhibit desirable properties for PrEP including: favourable pharmacokinetics that support infrequent dosing; few major drug-drug or drug-food interactions; an excellent clinical safety record; and pre-clinical evidence for efficacy. Several large, randomized, controlled clinical trials are evaluating the safety and efficacy of TDF and emtricitabine for this new indication. A thorough understanding of variability in drug response will help determine future investigations in the field and/or implementation into clinical care. Because tenofovir and emtricitabine are nucleos(t)ide analogues, the HIV prevention and toxicity effects depend on the triphosphate analogue formed intracellularly. This review identifies important cellular pharmacology considerations for tenofovir and emtricitabine, which include drug penetration into relevant tissues and cell types, race/ethnicity/pharmacogenetics, gender, cellular activation state and appropriate episodic or alternative dosing strategies based on pharmacokinetic principles. The current state of knowledge in these areas is summarized and the future utility of intracellular pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics for the PrEP field is discussed.

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    • "Based on preliminary studies from our laboratory (Bodwell et al, Unpublished observation), we know that epithelial and stromal fibroblasts possess the enzymatic machinery necessary to both activate TFV and inactivate TFV-DP. Once inactivated, TFV can readily move out of these cells to be available for uptake and metabolic activation by HIV target cells [14]. Our results in the present study suggest that epithelial cells and fibroblasts are a repository of TFV-DP. "
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    ABSTRACT: The conflicting results of recent pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) trials utilizing tenofovir (TFV) to prevent HIV infection in women led us to evaluate the accumulation of intracellular TFV-diphosphate (TFV-DP) in cells from the female reproductive tract (FRT) and whether sex hormones influence the presence of TFV-DP in these cells. Following incubation with TFV, isolated epithelial cells, fibroblasts, CD4+ T cells and CD14+ cells from the FRT as well as blood CD4+ T cells and monocyte-derived macrophages convert TFV to TFV-DP. Unexpectedly, we found that TFV-DP concentrations (fmol/million cells) vary significantly with the cell type analyzed and the site within the FRT. Epithelial cells had 5-fold higher TFV-DP concentrations than fibroblasts; endometrial epithelial cells had higher TFV-DP concentrations than cells from the ectocervix. Epithelial cells had 125-fold higher TFV-DP concentrations than FRT CD4+ T cells, which were comparable to that measured in peripheral blood CD4+ T cells. These findings suggest the existence of a TFV-DP gradient in the FRT where epithelial cells > fibroblasts > CD4+ T cells and macrophages. In other studies, estradiol increased TFV-DP concentrations in endometrial and endocervical/ectocervical epithelial cells, but had no effect on fibroblasts or CD4+ T cells from FRT tissues. In contrast, progesterone alone and in combination with estradiol decreased TFV-DP concentrations in FRT CD4+ T cells. Our results suggest that epithelial cells and fibroblasts are a repository of TFV-DP that is under hormonal control. These cells might act either as a sink to decrease TFV availability to CD4+ T cells and macrophages in the FRT, or upon conversion of TFV-DP to TFV increase TFV availability to HIV-target cells. In summary, these results indicate that intracellular TFV-DP varies with cell type and location in the FRT and demonstrate that estradiol and/or progesterone regulate the intracellular concentrations of TFV-DP in FRT epithelial cells and CD4+ T cells.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "One subject who had detectable HIV-1 RNA when starting PrEP rapidly developed FTC resistance; his drug concentrations were TFV-DP 18.7 fmol/106 PBMCs and FTC-TP 0.95 pmol/106 PBMCs at the seroconversion visit 4 weeks later, by which time M184V was selected. This indicates that these concentrations of drug were sufficient to select for resistance, while being in the prophylactic range for those who are uninfected when starting PrEP [8, 48]. This case, and the lack of FTC or TDF resistance among those with incident infections, suggests that concentrations of drug required to overcome viral fitness barriers to DR selection are also sufficient to prevent HIV infection. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The iPrEx study demonstrated that combination oral emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC/TDF) as preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) protects against HIV acquisition in men who have sex with men and transgender women. Selection for drug resistance could offset PrEP benefits. Methods: Phenotypic and genotypic clinical resistance assays characterized major drug resistant mutations. Minor variants with FTC/TDF mutations K65R, K70E, M184V/I were measured using 454 deep sequencing and a novel allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (AS-PCR) diagnostic tolerant to sequence heterogeneity. Results: Control of primer-binding site heterogeneity resulted in improved accuracy of minor variant measurements by AS-PCR. Of the 48 on-study infections randomized to FTC/TDF, none showed FTC/TDF mutations by clinical assays despite detectable drug levels in 8 participants. Two randomized to FTC/TDF had minor variant M184I detected at 0.53% by AS-PCR or 0.75% by deep sequencing, only 1 of which had low but detectable drug levels. Among those with acute infection at randomization to FTC/TDF, M184V or I mutations that were predominant at seroconversion waned to background levels within 24 weeks after discontinuing drug. Conclusions: Drug resistance was rare in iPrEx on-study FTC/TDF-randomized seroconverters, and only as low-frequency minor variants. FTC resistance among those initiating PrEP with acute infection waned rapidly after drug discontinuation. Clinical Trials Registration.NCT00458393.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
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    • "After entering the cell, TFV requires two phosphorylation steps to be activated into TFV-diphosphate (TFV-DP), the form of TFV with anti-HIV activity [8,9]. Once incorporated into the nascent viral cDNA, TFV-DP causes chain termination and thus inhibits viral replication [7,10]. The benefits of TFV are that it suppresses viral replication, has a favorable safety profile and a relatively long half-life [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tenofovir (TFV) has been widely used for pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV-1 infection with mixed results. While the use of TFV in uninfected individuals for prevention of HIV-1 acquisition is actively being investigated, the possible consequences of TFV exposure for the HIV-target cells and the mucosal microenvironment are unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of TFV treatment on blood-derived CD4(+) T cells, monocyte-derived macrophages and dendritic cells (DC). Purified HIV-target cells were treated with different concentrations of TFV (0.001-1.0 mg/ml) for 2 to 24hr. RNA was isolated and RT-PCR was performed to compare the levels of mRNA expression of nucleotidases and pro-inflammatory cytokine genes (MIP3α, IL-8 and TNFα) in the presence or absence of TFV. We found that TFV increases 5'-ecto-nucleotidase (NT5E) and inhibits mitochondrial nucleotidase (NT5M) gene expression and increases 5' nucleotidase activity in macrophages. We also observed that TFV stimulates the expression and secretion of IL-8 by macrophages, DC, and activated CD4(+) T cells and increases the expression and secretion of MIP3α by macrophages. In contrast, TFV had no effect on TNFα secretion from macrophages, DC and CD4(+) T cells. Our results demonstrate that TFV alters innate immune responses in HIV-target cells with potential implications for increased inflammation at mucosal surfaces. As new preventive trials are designed, these findings should provide a foundation for understanding the effects of TFV on HIV-target cells in microbicide trials.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · PLoS ONE
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